What are the possible complications of steroids in Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Steroids are not indicated for maintenance therapy, because of serious complications, such as aseptic necrosis of the hip, osteoporosis, cataract, diabetes, and hypertension. Accordingly, once remission is achieved, the agent is slowly tapered (5-10 mg every 1-2 weeks).

If steroid withdrawal proves difficult, immunosuppressants such as azathioprine (2 mg/kg/day) or its active metabolite, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), may be considered. Response is usually observed within 3-6 months. Mycophenolate mofetil 500 mg twice daily in 2 divided doses is well tolerated by patients and can be used to reduce the steroid dose. [2, 85]


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